Shimla and Kufri Travel Guide—16 Amazing Places to Visit (2020)
Shimla is the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh and is a very famous tourist destination in India. Shimla is also known as the Queen of the Hills. It was considered to be the summer capital of India during the British era or British raj. The place is adorned with multiple colonial buildings and places to visit which will remind of the classic British architecture. The town is located on the hilltop and so the weather in the town is good almost all round the year. Shimla is well connected with many cities and is just 4 hours from the nearby city Chandigarh. Shimla has an airport as well but does not have daily flights from here. However, it is connected with the major nearby cities by road and the railways. The railway station connects Shimla with the plains. There is also the famous Kalka-Shimla railway line which has the scenic train route and is also a UNESCO listed World Heritage site.
Kufri another small town located around 10 km from Shimla. It is also located on a hilltop as well and is well connected to Shimla by road. People who go to Shimla spend a day at Kufri. There is no escaping this quiet and quaint town, a hill-station almost always covered by snow. There are many places to view in Shimla and Kufri and you will see different parts and the beautiful nature at various viewpoints during your trip to Shimla and Kufri.
Shimla and Kufri Travel Guide—16 Amazing Places to Visit:
1. The Ridge, Shimla
The Ridge in Shimla is one of the colonial places that was built during the British Raj in India. The Ridge used to serve as the main marketplace for the British. There are three historical statues which were built later at the ridge of 3 famous people in India, Indira Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, and Y.S Parmar. The Ridge is now a popular tourist spot lined with many shops selling handicrafts and other artifacts. The Ridge is a beautiful place to visit for tourists visiting Shimla or Kufri. It is covered with pine trees, Rhododendron, Himalayan Oak trees, with amazing views of the queen of the hills and the hills nearby. It is a large open space, and the center of many cultural activities and most celebrations.
There are many events organized on the ridge in the open space from time to time which the tourists can enjoy. You can find shops here ranging from the humble local grocers to the more up-market international brands. There are a large number of cafés, restaurants, and a few pubs on the ridge if you want to spend your time at these places and relax for a few hours after roaming around in the city. Because of the snowfall in winters, Shimla has one of the natural ice-skating festivals which is organized in Shimla in December and it lasts till February. The rink especially is very bright and colorful during this time and is a place to be. The whole place becomes lively and blissful with music, dance, and food during this time.
The view from the ridge is breathtaking where you can see majestic mountains and valleys. It is the heart of the beautiful city of Shimla, and locals and tourists both stop by here to enjoy the view, shop at the surrounding market, and to eat the scrumptious food. Make sure you visit the ridge on your next visit to Shimla.
Location: Right by the Mall Road.
Timing: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, All days of the week
2. Jakhu Hill and Temple
Jakhu Hill is the highest point in Shimla and is very famous among both tourists and locals visiting Shimla or Kufri. The height of Jakhu hill is about 8000 feet from the sea level and is a major tourist attraction for tourists visiting Shimla and Kufri. The hills are covered with beautiful alpine trees, the hill’s most popular spots are the Jakhu Temple and the recently established Hanuman statues The Jakhu temple is visited by millions of people from around the world. The temple is famous for the langurs in the area. Visiting this place would also give you a good break from the hustle-bustle of the city and the down. One must be aware of the monkeys as they can be frightening and try to steal any food items if you are carrying or might even try to take your spectacles if you are wearing one and could also take your mobile phone while you are busy clicking pictures. Once you reach the top of the hill, you can enjoy the mesmerizing view of the beautiful Shivalik mountain range.
Location: Jaku, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Timing: 6:0M Am to 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, All the days of the week
3. Green Valley
Green Valley is one of the most beautiful spots in Shimla and is visited by tourists from all around the world. The views of the valley that you see from here are mesmerizing and awe-inspiring. It is a beautiful and breathtaking mountain range that falls on the way from Shimla to Kufri. If you feel at peace and soothe your soul, you must stop at this place and enjoy the view at Green valley. This is a beautiful escape from pollution, honking, noise, and dirt in the cities. You will be able to feel the fresh air in your lungs here. The Green Valley is surrounded by majestic hills on all sides that are covered with pine and deodar forests. You will also see some Yaks wandering and grazing around in the valley.
The place is also an ideal spot to capture some beautiful pictures to make memories with your friends and family. This is a natural place and n development has been done for tourism here, but it still attracts thousands of tourists every year because of the pristine beauty. The Green Valley has also been featured in numerous Bollywood movies and is certainly a place to visit when in Shimla or Kufri.
Location: On the way from Shimla to Kufri
Timing: 6 AM to 6 PM
4. Kiala Forest
Kiala Forest is a perfect destination for nature lovers who want to stay away from the bustling city life and want to enjoy their vacation at quiet places. One should not miss visiting this place when in Shimla or Kufri. This is also famous among wildlife enthusiasts and adventure sports lovers. There are distinct wildlife and both flora and fauna which you will be able to witness here at Kiala forest. You will enjoy a panoramic view of the city from this place. You can capture beautiful pictures at this place and make unforgettable memories in the wilderness. It is one of the lesser-known and one of the most amazing and beautiful local sightseeing places. The best way to explore this reserve forest is on foot so you will be able to enjoy nature in its raw form. If you are carrying any luggage with you, you can use the locker facility available. Kiala forest is a little far from the city and is a perfect escape and get away from the busy crowds, right into nature’s lap. People are advised to carry their water and snacks inside as there are no facilities available inside the forest.
Location: Kotkhai, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Timing: throughout the year
5. Himalayan Bird Park
Himalayan bird park is a little aviary and home to rare and exotic birdlife including the iridescent monal pheasant which is Himachal’s former state bird. This park is located in the heart of the city, opposite Vice Regal Lodge, and is visited by thousands of locals and tourists throughout the year. One can take a walk around the park and explore rich flora and fauna in the region and admire the beautiful views you see with the sounds of the birds. There are a huge variety and number of pheasants, peacocks, and peafowl at the park. You will be left dumbstruck to see the immeasurable beauty that their birds are, take the fresh air in and enjoy the view. It is a heaven for the photographers who enjoy clicking birds and the nature Summers are the best time to visit Himalayan Bird Park and see the birds and listen to their sounds as the park gets covered in snow during the winters. Make sure you will Himalayan Bird park on your next visit to Shimla or Kufri.
Location: Chaura Maidan, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Timing: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
6. Christ Church
Christ Church is one of the most famous spots in Shimla/Kufri and it is also the most famous meeting point here if you are meeting someone. Built-in the classic neogothic style of architecture, it is a reminder of the British colonization in India. This church was built during the British raj and it took 11 long years to build this church. The Christ Church in Shimla is the second oldest church in entire northern India and is a site of pure devotion as well as architectural beauty. It is a famous tourist spot and is visited by thousands of tourists from India and abroad. It is a favorite destination and spot for people of all ages and is enjoyed by everyone equally. The church looks beautiful in both summers and winters and is visible from various places in Shimla as it is located and built at a height. At night, the church is lighted up and looks amazing, while in winters, it looks like an awe-inspiring castle.
It is also visited by many architectural lovers as it is built in a classic neogothic style which is not very famous in India. It is always full of tourists and devotees and is loved by all. The Church has a front porch, church bells, and five stained glass windows that represent different virtues of Christianity. This is now the second oldest church in entire north India, and it is open for service every day. Even though there is a lot of crowds outside on the ridge, the church is always peaceful and aloof of anything going on outside. The church is very famous among the tourists and has also been featured in many Bollywood movies as well.
Location: Hotel Ridge View, Ridge to US Club, Lakkar Bazar, Shimla
Timing: 8 AM to 6 PM
7. Viceregal Lodge and Botanical Garden
Viceregal Lodge is a beautiful building built during the British colonization in India and is an equally important place in the history of India. The viceregal lodge now known as the Indian Institute of advanced study is a famous tourist place among the Indian and the foreign nationals as well. The Viceregal Estate built during the British empire was passed into the hands of the President of India after Independence in 1947. The spectacular building was renamed ‘Rashtrapati Nivas’ (Presidential Residence) and came to be occupied by the President – if at all – for only a few days in a year. Viceregal Lodge was once the summer residence of the Indian Viceroy who governed India from 1888 to 1946. It is one of the most important places to visit in Shimla/Kufri and is of historic importance. The Mock-Tudor state mansion, encased by impeccably maintained gardens, is a haven for history and architecture buffs. This glorious work of architecture and the beautiful and awe-inspiring botanical gardens nearby requires a half-day tour of the place if you wish to see all the corners properly.
Location: Observatory Hills, Boileauganj, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Timing: 10:30 AM to 5 PM on all days except Monday
8. Kuthar Fort
Kuthar Fort is one of the best historical places to visit in Shimla/Kufri. The fort covers an area of 52.8 sq. km, surrounded by pine trees, and mountains. It is surrounded by pine and deodar trees and is a sight to behold. It is an architectural marvel and is a heaven for history and architecture lovers. Many fresh-water springs are flowing through this place as it covers a large area of land. It is surrounded by different picturesque locations such as the Gurkha Fort from Subathu, Kunihar, and Kasauli hill station. Come Here for a delightful quiet evening away from the city crowds and hustle-bustle of the city life.
Location: Kuthar Fort is located close to Arki and Subathu.
Timing: 8 am to 6 pm
Annadale is flat land which was developed as a playground in the city. People generally play cricket on the ground. However, other sports like Golf and Polo are also played here. This ground is famous since British rule as the Britishers used to play sports like racing, cricket, and polo here. Entertainment activities too were organized during the early times. Not the tourists visit this place as a remembrance of the British Colonization in India. The place is built beautifully and is a sight to behold and a must-visit in the area.
Location: Near Ridge Shimla
Timing: 10 AM to 5 PM on all days of the week except Monday.
10. Summer Hill
It is considered to be the most picturesque place in Shimla. Summer hills are located 2100 feet above sea level. This spot is visited by travelers wanting to escape the heat and chaos of their daily and their routine city lives. The major highlight about the place is that it is surrounded by a dense forest that has a variety of flora and fauna.
Summer Hill is one of the perfect holiday spots for nature lovers. It is located at a distance of 5 kilometers from the Shimla Ridge, the hills provide for amazing hiking and walking opportunities and is a good option to stay for the adventure seekers too. You can find a cozy guest house or homestay to enjoy your vacation in the lap of nature for 2-3 days to make the most of it. Make sure you visit this place on your next visit to Shimla.
Location: Situated on the Kalka-Shimla railway line, can be easily reached by the railways too
Timings: throughout the year
11. A Ride On The Famous Toy Train
You cannot miss the famous tot train in Shimla if you are here for your vacation. It will provide you with gorgeous views of pine and deodar covered hills, this five-hour train ride should be on your things to do in Shimla itinerary. This is 96 kilometers run and this journey will take you through 20 stations, 103 tunnels, 800 bridges, and about 900 breath-taking curves. This would be one of the most scenic rides you would have ever taken on the train probably. It covers the distance between Barog and Shimla which is the most amazing part of this journey when the train slows down due to a steep climb, allowing you to see nature in its raw form. The views will leave you dumbstruck and you will not want to leave the place.
The highlight of this journey is the Barog Station which has the longest tunnel. As Shimla is a famous and most visited hill station in north India, it sometimes gets difficult to get tickets for the toy train ride. So, it is recommended to get the advance booking done if you are planning to visit Shimla and to go on the toy train adventure. The Kalka-Shimla ride is also declared as the UNESCO world heritage site and must not be missed.
Timings: to be confirmed before visiting
12. Chadwick Waterfall
Chadwick waterfall is one of the most famous tourist spots in the summer hill. It is located at an altitude of 1586 meters. With dense pine forests, lush deodar trees surrounding the Chadwick waterfalls is a sight to behold. The view is enthralling and breathtaking. The best time to visit the place is in summers and during the monsoons lead to an increase in the water level of the falls making the place even more beautiful with its sparkling water. However, it is not recommended to take a bath during the monsoon in the falls. Chadwick falls is surely a treat to the eyes of its beauty and the lush green around. People come here for a picnic with their friends and family and enjoy the time here. Make sure you visit Chadwick falls on your next visit to this place.
Location: New Summer Hill, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: Sunrise to sunset
13. Shaily Peak
Another place in Shimla which is blessed with magical weather and lush green surroundings. Shaily Peak is highly popular among nature lovers and travelers who are looking for places to visit in Shimla known for peace and serenity. The best thing about Shaily peak is that the place is surrounded by a dense forest that has a variety of flora and fauna. Summer Hill is one of the perfect holiday spots for nature lovers. It is a little tricky to get to Shaily Peak and it requires a hike through Naldehra hills. And it is all worth it since it takes you to a magnificent spot which makes every bit of the hike worthwhile.
The way to the tops is equally breathtaking as you will witness wide flora and the forests laden with thick and tall pine and deodar trees. You will fall in love with the beautiful landscapes you will see. This is a paradise for nature photographers. You can also take a pony ride to the peak or top of the hill which is quite adventurous and can also choose to rent a motorbike for a motorbike trek. It is a must-visit place for all nature lovers and adventure seekers. Make sure you visit Shaily peak and Naldehra hills on your next visit to Shimla.
Location: Near Mahakali, Shimla
Timing: Sunrise to Sunset
14. Kali Bari Temple
Kali Bari temple is very famous among both locals and tourists in Shimla and Kufri. This temple is visited by thousands of tourists, locals, and devotees all-round the year. What makes this temple more famous is that is it adorned between the hills and surrounded by the tall and deodar trees which makes this place worth visiting. It is also soul soothing to listen to the chants in the middle of the mountains. The feeling is almost meditative, and you have transported to another dimension altogether while you are here at the time of Aarti. This temple was built in the year 1845 and is dedicated to Goddess Kali who is also known as Shyamala. The idol of goddess Kali is extremely beautiful and adorned with jewelry and colorful flowers. Shimla has got its name from the Shyamala goddess from Himachal Pradesh.
Location: Kali Bari Road, Shimla.
Timing: 7 AM to 6 PM on all days of the week.
15. Mashobra Valley
Mashobra valley is also famously called the quieter Shimla and it is an ideal place for people to stay who want to stay in a calm and quieter place as compared to Shimla. People who want to stay and feel the raw nature can easily find a guest house or a homestay where they can enjoy the beauty of the place and have a pleasant stay.
Mashobra is a lush green valley in Himachal Pradesh located at a height of about 7700 feet. The population of the valley is not very high and allows you to see nature as it is. The wide and lush flora and fauna are not destroyed by human intervention and is a place to be. It is quite liberating to sit in the open and ponder in the hills. Mashobra’s proximity to Shimla makes it a perfect alternative for people who are looking for a peaceful little hill-station. You can spend a lazy weekend at Mashobra in the lap of nature which will be a soul-quenching experience. Make sure you visit the place and add it to your itinerary when planning for your next long weekend.
Location: Mashobra, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: Throughout the year
Last but not least Kufri is another famous hill station located close to Shimla and is visited by tourists all round the year. It is located around 10 km from Shimla and is a scenic and extremely beautiful town which is quite popular for family vacations and honeymooners. Most people traveling to Himachal Pradesh and specifically Shimla make it a point to visit Kufri. The small town of Kufi is surrounded by a ring of the Himalayan ranges which makes it the most sought-after holiday destinations in Himachal Pradesh. If you are traveling to Kufri during the peak season make sure you make your boarding and lodging booking prior as it would not be possible to find a place to stay if you will try to find once reaching there.
This town is located on another hill-top like Shimla but the population of Kufri is way lesser than Shimla as it located at height than Shimla hills. The beautiful valleys in this town look extremely beautiful during the summer months and are quite a place to be and experience on your own. During winters when the temperature drops below zero degrees, the place is covered with snow offering some of the most beautiful sights. The valley also boasts a variety of local flora and fauna, such as thick forests of pines and deodars, that add to the beauty of this place.
There are many sports activities organized in the town during the winter months and is quite famous among tourists, especially the adventure seekers who enjoy snow sports like sledging and skiing, etc. Kufri is also a popular destination for skiing enthusiasts, housing some of the most attractive ski-runs in Himachal. Kufri also has a very famous National park with a variety of animals that are unique to the winter climates. The zoo also has bears and zebras. The National Park houses nearly 31 species of animals and over 150 species of birds. The nature lover can further satiate his tastes by paying a visit to the Green Valley or the town of Fagu in Kufri which is another soul-quenching experience. Fagu has stunning forests with a wide variety of vegetation and a distinct variety of birds.
Kufri Fun World is another interesting place you must visit if you are in the town. Kufri Fun Town is one of the highest amusement parks anywhere in the world. The park hosts a Go-Kart track, allowing visitors to Kart against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayas.
People also enjoy the donkey or mule ride to the Mahasu peak, which is the tallest peak here. During the peak season, this is the best activity as you will see many other tourists taking the mule ride to this place. Having these adventure activities and snow sports and the fact that Kufri is located at the hilltop with enthralling views make it a more popular and sought-after place in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
Summer months in Kufri, lasting between April to June, experiences a cool and pleasant climate, with moderate temperature and short spells of rain. The winter months, between October to March, experience extremely cold weather and is best spent enjoying the snow sports and chai and Maggi from the roadside vendors. You can also take a small Yak ride on the mall road which is the most famous place in Kufri and the only market to buy stuff from here. You will find Yak wool items from Kufri which are quite famous.
In Winters, the temperature in Kufri falls to subzero levels, covering the valley with snow and the view is awe-inspiring. The monsoon months last from July to September. You must visit the hills station during monsoon if you are a fan of the rains and the temperature drops considerably in the evenings during the rainy season as well. Make sure you plan to visit the small and beautiful town Kufri and spend a day here if not more during your next trip to Shimla. Add this town to your itinerary and it will never let you down with the plethora of the options and activities to do at the place.